Content » Vol 44, Issue 4

Original report

Association between clinical and work-related interventions and return-to-work for patients with musculoskeletal or mental disorders

Charlotte Wåhlin, Kerstin Ekberg, Jan Persson, Lars Bernfort, Birgitta Öberg
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0951


Objective: The aim of this study was to explore what characterizes patients receiving clinical interventions vs combined clinical and work-related interventions in a cohort of sick-listed subjects with musculoskeletal or mental disorders. Factors associated with return-to-work were also
Design: A prospective cohort study.
Methods: A total of 699 newly sick-listed patients responded to a questionnaire on sociodemographics, measures of health, functioning, work ability, self-efficacy, social support, work conditions, and expectations. The 3-month follow-up questionnaire included patients’ self-reported measures of return-to-work, work ability and type of interventions. The most frequent International Classification of Diseases-10 diagnoses for patients’ musculoskeletal disorders were dorsopathies (M50–54) and soft tissue disorders (M70–79), and for patients with mental disorders, depression (F32–39) and stress reactions (F43).
Results: Patients with mental disorders who received combined interventions returned to work to a higher degree than those who received only clinical intervention. The prevalence of work-related interventions was higher for those who were younger and more highly educated. For patients with musculoskeletal disorders better health, work ability and positive expectations of return-to-work were associated with return-to-work. However, combined interventions did not affect return-to-work in this group.
Conclusion: Receiving combined interventions increased the probability of return-to-work for patients with mental disorders, but not for patients with musculoskeletal disorders. Better health, positive expectations of return-to-work and better work ability were associated with return-to-work for patients with musculoskeletal disorders.

Lay Abstract


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